|Splittin' molecules and takin' names, bitches!|
"Previous research on PEC has focused on complex materials," Menon said. "We decided to go against the conventional wisdom and start with some easy-to-produce materials, even if they lacked the right arrangement of electrons to meet PEC criteria. Our goal was to see if a minimal 'tweaking' of the electronic arrangement in these materials would accomplish the desired results."
|Representation of the GaN/ Sb alloy (left). R. Sheetz et al|
Hydrogen has long been touted as a likely key component in the transition to cleaner energy sources. It can be used in fuel cells to generate electricity, burned to produce heat, and utilized in internal-combustion engines to power vehicles. When combusted, hydrogen combines with oxygen to form water vapor as its only waste product. Hydrogen also has wide-ranging applications in science and industry.
...Currently, it takes a large amount of electricity to generate hydrogen by water splitting. As a consequence, most of the hydrogen manufactured today is derived from non-renewable sources such as coal and natural gas.This is one reason why it's kind of a big deal. In this proposed process there is no generation of CO2 to produce the pure hydrogen. Over the years I've been somewhat of an advocate for electric and hydrogen energy technology, and in my opinion, will probably surpass bio-fuels as energy alternatives. This may be what tips the scales...
[via Science Daily]
Cheers science fans!